Cheney urges China to pressure N. Korea

BEIJING

Vice President Dick Cheney sought yesterday to prod China to
apply more pressure on North Korea to abandon its nuclear program,
citing new evidence that it has atomic weapons.

He also told China he understands its opposition to U.S. arms
sales to Taiwan, but that they are directly related to
China’s own buildup, said a senior administration official
who briefed reporters on Cheney’s talks.

Cheney also expressed U.S. concern about China’s recent
steps to restrict self-government in Hong Kong, suggesting it might
also have a bearing on the Taiwan issue, the official said.

China’s treatment of the people of Hong Kong might serve
as a bellwether for the people of Taiwan as they consider the
“one state, two systems” policy that China applies to
Hong Kong.

Cheney met separately yesterday with Chinese President Hu
Jintao, his predecessor Jiang Zemin and Premier Wen Jiabao. The
vice president later flew to Shanghai, the latest stop on a
weeklong Asia trip that will also take him to South Korea.

 

Tenet: 5 years needed to combat al-Qaida

WASHINGTON

The CIA intelligence-gathering flaws exposed by the Sept. 11
attacks will take five years to correct, agency Director George
Tenet said yesterday. The chairman of the commission investigating
the 2001 hijackings called the time frame frightening.

The panel released statements harshly criticizing the CIA for
failing to fully appreciate the threat posed by al-Qaida before
Sept. 11 and questioning the progress of what commissioners say are
the FBI’s badly needed reorganization efforts.

Tenet, appearing before the commission for the second time in
three weeks, said that in the 1990s the CIA lost 25 percent of its
personnel, was not hiring new analysts and faced disarray in its
training of clandestine officers who work overseas to penetrate
terror cells and recruit secret informants.

Although strides have been made since the attacks, Tenet said it
would take five more years to “have the kind of clandestine
service our country needs.” The National Security Agency,
which handles electronic surveillance, and U.S. mapping and
analytic intelligence agencies also need time and sustained funding
to improve, he said.

 

S. Africa voters favor incumbents to win

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa

An elderly woman wrapped in the colors of the governing African
National Congress spoke for millions who lined up yesterday to vote
in South Africa’s third all-race national election.

“The ANC held our hand and brought us through hell,”
said Noluthando Nokwando, a 66-year-old woman from the squalid Cape
Town township of Khayelitsha. “We can give them a chance
— and our respect — for another five years.”

Despite lingering poverty, high unemployment and an AIDS crisis,
a debt of gratitude to the party that toppled apartheid a decade
ago still holds sway in South Africa. The ANC has improved living
conditions and the economy, but above all, it has presided over a
peaceful transition to majority rule that many once thought
impossible.

In scenes reminiscent of the historic 1994 vote that ended
apartheid, long lines formed outside polling stations.

 

Student charged in false abduction claim

MADISON, Wis.

Audrey Seiler, the University of Wisconsin sophomore accused of
staging her own disappearance last month, was charged yesterday
with two misdemeanor counts of obstructing officers.

Each charge carries a jail sentence up to nine months and a
maximum fine of $10,000. Dane County District Attorney Brian
Blanchard filed the 16-page criminal complaint two weeks after
Seiler, 20, was discovered in a marshy area within a mile of her
campus apartment, when she told police a man with a knife and a gun
was in the area. She was reported missing March 27 and found March
31.

When officers attempted to assist Seiler to her feet she said
“I can’t leave the woods — a bad man will kill
me,” according to the complaint.

 

Better tech leads to fewer multiple births

BOSTON

A worrisome national surge in multiple births linked to
test-tube technology is easing, largely because doctors implant
fewer embryos in each attempt to make a woman pregnant, a study
suggests.

Doctors routinely place several embryos in the womb at once to
improve the odds of producing a baby.

Technical advances and the advent of professional guidelines
appear to have led to more sparing use of embryos, the
study’s researchers reported in today’s New England
Journal of Medicine.

The findings are likely to stoke the debate over whether the
government should put a cap on the number of embryos that can be
used for each try.

 

— Compiled from Daily wire reports

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